Kolkata Raises Awareness on Wellbeing 
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 24 Apr 2019

Kolkata Raises Awareness on Wellbeing 

  • The Global Academy, Kolkata celebrates a day to spread awareness on health & lifestyle management
  • The seminar emphasized the critical need for Holistic Diagnosis and Treatment
  • The GOI is spending just 1.3 percent of the GDP for public healthcare, there remains a severe scarcity of doctors in the country
  • People continue to incur heavy medical expenditure across rural and urban hospitals
  • One allopathic government doctor in India attends to a population of 11,082, which is 10 times more than the WHO recommended a doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000
  • The infant mortality rate at the national level stands at its lowest - 34 per 1,000 live births - however, the gap between rural (38) and urban (23) mortality rate is still high
  • The highest figure of deaths due to rabies was reported from WB (26) & Karnataka (15)
  • These are among the grim facts recorded in the National Health Profile 2018, an annual report released by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI)

By Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief (Kolkata), Indian Observer Post

Kolkata, April 24, 2019: Universal health coverage is the WHO’s key goal, and achieving it must ensure that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community. Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world, but there remain millions who yet have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even basic shelter.

Taking a clue to the above, The Global Academy in collaboration with the International Institute of Lifestyle Management organized an International Seminar to discuss this pressing issue of lifestyle diseases on 6th April 2019. The same took precedence on the eve of the World Health Day at Hotel Hindustan International, Kolkata.

The Seminar emphasized the critical need for Holistic Diagnosis and Treatment where the emphasis should be not only be focused on the short-term treatment of the lifestyle disease at hand, but also the identification of the cause of such lifestyle disease and eliminating the latter in entirety. This is the only way to achieve better healing and enhanced health.

Suresh Kumar Agarwal, President of The Global Academy says that lifestyle-related diseases also referred to as the new-age ailments are on the rise in India, which is a new threat to a healthy life.

“Caused by a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits, these chronic diseases are now leading to cardiovascular problems, obesity, stroke, Type II diabetes, and several other ailments. In India, the death rate is nearly four times higher from respiratory diseases caused by an unhealthy lifestyle,” says Agarwal.

With the Government sparing just 1.3 percent of the GDP for public healthcare, way less than the global average of 6 percent, there remains a severe scarcity of doctors in the country and people continue to incur heavy medical expenditure across rural and urban hospitals.  These are among the grim facts recorded in the National Health Profile 2018, an annual report released recently by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI).

According to the report, one allopathic government doctor in India, on an average, attends to a population of 11,082, which is 10 times more than the WHO recommended a doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000.

Delhi is better in terms of doctor-population ratio amongst other states, where the ratio stands at 1:2203, which is still twice the recommended ratio by WHO. This dismal figure puts India below other low-income nations like Maldives (9.4), Bhutan (2.5), Sri Lanka (1.6) and Nepal (1.1). Globally, Sweden spends the largest chunk on public healthcare by dedicating 9.2 percent of its GDP.

Focusing on aiding universal health coverage which is the World Health Organization’s number one goal, the Seminar was attended by more than 200 spirited and enthusiastic participants from around the country and different parts of the world.

Agarwal also expressed the critical need for lifestyle management in modern day society through continuous research and launching of integrated health programs and remedies such as regularizing a Mediterranean diet, practicing exercise, getting sufficient sleep & peaceful relaxation and several other adaptive measures to prevent the occurrence of diseases and reduce its impact through lifestyle modifications.

With communicable diseases like rabies having a 100 percent fatality rate amongst 97 cases reported in the year 2018, it remained one of the most lethal diseases in the country for the year. The highest figure of deaths due to rabies was reported from West Bengal (26) and Karnataka (15). Japanese Encephalitis (JE), a kind of an infection of the brain caused by the JE virus, continues to claim lives with 12 percent mortality rate amongst 2,180 cases. The maximum number of cases (693) of JE and death (93) were reported from Uttar Pradesh, the highest since 2013.

Agarwal explains, “The Global Academy wants to create awareness about lifestyle diseases being caused by wrong food habits, lack of physical activity, sleeping disorders, wrong interpretation of relaxation, and several other modern day stress factors. Almost half of the chronic diseases at present, namely the lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and several mental health misbalances are the results of wrong interpretation of health practices”.

Veteran sportsperson Dr Crompton Dutta was the Chief Guest of the event, besides some other invited dignitaries - Rev Bishop Samuel Pavana Raju, Buddhist Monk Dr Arunjyoti Mahathero, Dr Sujoy Biswas - CEO & Director of Techno India Group, Bureau Chief of Indian Observer Post (Kolkata) Didhiti Ghosh, Md Ehteshmul Haque – WB Gen Secretary of TMC Minority Cell, Digbijoy Chakrabarty - Director of Frost & Sullivan, Adv Pratik Majumder, Pandit Prodyut Mukherjee, Dr Nyassinara from Myanmar, Baljit Singh Grewal, Buddhist monk Swami Uttamananda, Dinesh Chand Gangwal – President of All Digambar Jain Samaj, Dr Pawan Sharma – Associate VP of Emami Group of Companies, Dr Shabbir Ali of Calcutta Medical College & Hospital, Adv Sayantani Ghosh – the first transgender lawyer of India, Md Fatah Alam, Md Ali – WB Gen Secretary of TMC Minority Forum and social worker Md Ishtiaque Alam, to name a few.  

“The presence of people from several communities is in itself a milestone to achieve friendly associations in society,” said Ehteshamul Haque. At the same time, a healthy society requires the active participation of people from all the sectors, he iterated. Sujoy Biswas, CEO of Techno India also reiterated the importance of garnering harmony among all the religions in the maxim.

Pratik Majumder, Advocate of Calcutta High Court said that the legal community must also take active steps to promote harmony in society as the same will help control the same lies in the hands of a global community.

Arunjyoti Mahathero, Buddhist monk said that the importance of yoga and meditation in today’s life is of supreme importance, and the active participation of The Global Academy to drive this positive change is commendable.

Pawan Sharma, Associate VP of Emami India Ltd mentioned the healthcare developments made by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and commended the work driven forward by the present association.

The event received its closing remarks by Chandan Agarwal, CEO of Pragyan International University, Ranchi, Jharkhand and expressed gratitude to all present.

While the BJP is already seen as a favourite of the middle class, PM Narendra Modi needs the support of the poor voters to win the next elections. With the rollout of the Centre's flagship scheme which has been renamed as PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), the Narendra Modi-led NDA government aims to provide healthcare facilities to over 10 crores families covering urban and rural poor.  The ambitious scheme offers an insurance cover of Rs 5 lac, which will cover 10 crores poor families or almost 50 crores, persons. 

The universal health care scheme—if implemented without any big hitches—can sway a large number of voters towards Modi, which is, as of now a  result that only time will define till the present electoral process arrives at a conclusion. Source of health statistics: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GOI

(DIDHITI GHOSH is the Director of a cultural-exchange radio programme at Radio Satelitevisión y Americavisión, Chile. She is a professor & a certified conference interpreter of the Spanish language and is the Bureau Chief of INDIAN OBSERVER POST based in Kolkata. Contact: didhiti.24@gmail.com)


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